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It’s March 18th and we’re in the middle of Spring Training.
I have compiled a list of my
1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA
5-category stud, plays at scarce position, so gets nod over Pujols.
2. Albert Pujols, STL
3. Alex Rodriguez, NYY
4. Ryan Braun, MIL
5. Matt Kemp, LAD
6. Prince Fielder, MIL
7. Chase Utley, PHI
8. Miguel Cabrera, DET
9. Mark Teixeira, NYY
10. Evan Longoria, TB
11. Roy Halladay, PHI
Should dominate the National League, earning him Top Pitcher honours.
12. Joe Mauer, MIN
13. Troy Tulowitzki, COL
Underrated 5-category gem, read my article on him at Bleacher Report.
14. Tim Lincecum, SF
15. Carl Crawford, TB
15. Ryan Howard, PHI
16. David Wright, NYM
17. Felix Hernandez, SEA
18. Matt Holliday, STL
19. CC Sabathia, NYY
20. Justin Upton, ARI
Don’t take him earlier, I’d be happy with his numbers from last year, don’t expect a .300/40/100/30 SB season quite yet.
21. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
22. Zach Greinke, KC
23. Robinson Cano, NYY
He should put up a great average with other solid numbers across the board, a great asset to have.
24. Grady Sizemore, CLE
25. Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS
26. Adrian Gonzalez, SD
27. Ian Kinsler, TEX
28. Ryan Zimmerman, WAS
29. Derek Jeter, NYY
30. Dustin Pedroia, BOS
31. Pablo Sandoval, SF
32. Brandon Phillips, CIN
33. Dan Haren, ARI
34. Jimmy Rollins, PHI
35. Joey Votto, CIN
36. Cliff Lee, SEA
He should play great with Seattle’s superb defense and cavernous park, a similar campaign to 2008 isn’t out of the question.
37. Brian McCann, ATL
38. Adam Lind, TOR
39. Jayson Werth, PHI
40. Jon Lester, BOS
41. Kevin Youkilis, BOS
42. Justin Verlander, DET
43. Carlos Lee, HOU
44. Andre Ethier, LAD
45. Victor Martinez, BOS
46. Brian Roberts, BAL
47. Aramis Ramirez, CHC
48. Kendry Morales, LAA
49. Jason Bay, NYM
50. Adam Wainwright, STL
51. Johan Santana, NYM
52. Chris Carpenter, STL
53. Nick Markakis, BAL
54. Mark Reynolds, ARI
55. Justin Morneau, MIN
56. Curtis Granderson, NYY
57. Bobby Abreu, LAA
58. Aaron Hill, TOR
59. Yovani Gallardo, MIL
60. Mariano Rivera, NYY
61. Ben Zobrist, TB
62. Bill Butler, KC
If you don’t have a first baseman yet, don’t worry, take the underrated Butler who should put up a great average with good power numbers.
63. Josh Johnson, FLA
64. Jonathan Broxton, LAD
65. Adam Jones, BAL
66. Shin-Soo Choo, CLE
67. Josh Beckett, BOS
I rank him higher than most because he’s a sure thing. You need a dependable pitcher than will put up solid numbers.
68. Adam Dunn, WAS
69. B.J. Upton, TB
70. Chone Figgins, SEA
71. Torii Hunter, LAA
72. Shane Victorino, PHI
73. Jonathan Papelbon, BOS
74. Jose Reyes, NYM
75. Lance Berkman, HOU
76. Manny Ramirez, LAD
Manny is certainly capable of one last .300/30/100 season and if he plays 160 games, you should expect that out of him.
77. Cole Hamels, PHI
After being a minor disappointment last year, everyone’s raving about him this spring. Any improvement would warrant reward for taking him this high and really, he should improve mightily.
78. Gordon Beckham, CWS
79. Tommy Hanson, ATL
80. Derrek Lee, CHC
81. Javier Vazquez, NYY
82. Nelson Cruz, TEX
83. Matt Cain, SF
84. Josh Hamilton, TEX
85. Hunter Pence, HOU
86. Joakim Soria, KC
87. Matt Wieters, BAL
88. Francisco Rodriguez, NYM
89. Raul Ibanez, PHI
90. Carlos Beltran, NYM
91. Elvis Andrus, TEX
92. Ricky Nolasco, FLA
93. Johnny Damon, DET
94. Michael Young, TEX
95. Jake Peavy, CWS
96. Jay Bruce, CIN
97. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
98. Jason Bartlett, TB
99. Howie Kendrick, LAA
100. Denard Span, MIN
He hits for a .300+ average and will put up solid numbers everywhere else. Great value.
101. Andrew McCutchen
102. Wandy Rodriguez, HOU
103. Brandon Webb, ARI
104. Jose Lopez, SEA
The last of the second basemen that will benefit your fantasy team. If you don’t have anyone so far, take Lopez, a given .280/25/90 player.
105. Andrew Bailey, OAK
106. Huston Street, COL
107. Carlos Quentin, CWS
108. Clayton Kershaw, LAD
A superb ERA last season, just got unlucky with his run support. People say he’s overrated, but if he puts up the same ratios as last season, he certainly should win 15+ games.
109. Carlos Pena, TB
110. Scott Baker, MIN
111. Nate McLouth, ATL
112. Chad Billingsley, LAD
113. John Lackey, BOS
114. Francisco Cordero, CIN
115. Alex Rios, CWS
116. Brad Hawpe, COL
An uber-consistent outfielder that has put up at least .283/22/84 each of the last 4 seasons. Just take him and cross out your 3rd outfield spot, he’s a constant.
117. Heath Bell, SD
118. Adrian Beltre, BOS
119. Carlos Gonzalez, COL
120. Jose Valverde, DET
121. Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE
Thanks for reading! Please share your insight by leaving comments.
With Spring Training
starting, baseball fanatics across the country are furiously prepping up for
the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season. Whether playing H2H or Rotisserie
(apparently the name ‘rotisserie’ comes from the fact that the very first
fantasy baseball draft was held in a rotisserie restaurant), fantasy baseball
is very exciting and requires a level of studying for gurus and newbies alike.
First Base is so
deep this year that picking Albert Pujols first overall doesn’t give you an
advantage. I’d rather have Hanley Ramirez. He puts up slightly sub-par power
numbers to Pujols, but really he has a higher average, scores the same amount
of runs, drives in practically the same amount of runs, and steals more bases
at a more expensive position.
Consider these two
PLAYER A: .306, 35
HR, 111 RBI, .972 OPS
PLAYER B: .327, 47
HR, 135 RBI, 1.101 OPS
Player A is Derrek
Lee, a player not being drafted as a starter this year, usually around the 15th
first baseman taken.
Player B is Albert
Pujols, the consensus number one selection.
First base is
infinitely deep this year, with Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Mark Teixeira,
Ryan Howard filling out the elite spots and tons of other useful players follow
(Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Justin Morneau, Kendry Morales, Lance Berkman,
Billy Butler, Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena, Victor Martinez, Mark Reynolds, Kevin
Youkilis, Todd Helton… you get the idea, all of these players are 30/100 or
Sleepers/Value Picks: Joey Votto, Nick Johnson, Lance Berkman, Billy Butler, Carlos Pena (Pena’s basically Mark Reynolds, but TONS cheaper)
ultrashallow position, second base has deepened recently, as Aaron Hill and Ben
Zobrist broke out last year, with others such as Robinson Cano proving they
have undisputable talent. It’s deep enough that you certainly don’t have to
worry much about position scarcity, and I see Chase Utley as being one of the
least appetizing options in the first round.
Compare these three
PLAYER A: .282, 31
HR, 93 RBI, 23 SB
PLAYER B: .296, 15
HR, 72 RBI, 20 SB
PLAYER C: .272, 25
HR, 96 RBI, 3 SB
Looking at these
statistics, it’s clear that Player A is the best, although his average isn’t
exactly elite. Player A is Chase Utley, drafted in the first round of every
draft. Player B is Dustin Pedroia, who is being drafted as the 3rd or 4th 2nd
bagger, in the 4th round. Player C, who really is on par with the others
(except for stolen bases) is Jose Lopez,
being drafted as the 10th or 11th 2nd baseman, around the 12th round. So as you
can see, drafting a second baseman early is not needed as in recent years.
My Top 15 2nd
baseman basemen are as follows: Chase
Utley, Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips, Dustin Pedroia, Aaron
Hill, Brian Roberts, Ben Zobrist, Jose Lopez, Howie Kendrick, Asdrubal Cabrera,
Dan Uggla, Ian Stewart, Martin Prado, Placido Polanco.
Sleepers/Value Picks: Jose Lopez, Scott Sizemore, Aaron Hill (going WAY too late in drafts for a .285/35/100 player)
Third base is
surprisingly thin this year, with A-Rod once again leading the way and Evan
Longoria not far behind and improving. Alex Rodriguez is going to be the 3rd
player off the board in almost every draft and earlier I recommended picking
third to draft him. David Wright took a step back power-wise last year, so he’s
being seen as a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
You certainly want one of the top 6
third-basemen: Alex Rodriguez, Evan Longoria, David Wright, Pablo Sandoval,
Ryan Zimmerman and Kevin Youkilis. After that, you have to deal with the likes
of Mark Reynolds (good for power, destroys your average), Chone Figgins, Aramis
Ramirez (good, but certainly not close to being elite), and others.
If you don’t get A-Rod, don’t reach for Wright or Longoria as they’re overvalued, instead snap up either Sandoval or Zimmerman in the 4th round.
Sleepers/Value Picks: Gordon Beckham, Alex Gordon, Mark DeRosa
One of the mains reasons I recommend picking out of the 3rd spot to draft A-Rod is because then you have a good chance of picking Troy Tulowitzki off the draft board. Of course, Hanley Ramirez is king among shortstops, but consider these two stat lines:
PLAYER A: .301, 33 HR, 67 RBI, 35 SB, .940 OPS
PLAYER B: .292, 32 HR, 92 RBI, 20 SB, .930 OPS
Which year would you rather have?
Player A is 2008 Hanley Ramirez, after that season he was hailed as the best fantasy player in baseball and was drafted first overall the following season in most drafts.
Player B is 2009 Troy Tulowitzki, who drove in more runs and hit 1 less home run that 2008 Hanley while maintaining a pretty good average and almost on-par OPS. Yet Troy Tulowitzki is being seen as late 2nd round/early 3rd round material. Translation: You want Troy Tulowitzki on your team.
After those two, you have the choice of question-marks and/or one-category studs. Can Derek Jeter hold up despite his old age? Will Jose Reyes bounce back and hit 20 HRs while maintaining his steals? Was Jimmy Rollins’ MVP year an outlier? Does Stephen Drew actually have potential? To sum things up, you want to draft either Han-Ram 2nd overall, take Tulowitzki, or follow your gut feeling on the previous question-statements.
Sleepers/Value Picks: Troy Tulowitzki, Asdrubal Cabrera, Rafael Furcal
Joe Mauer. If you have an early 2nd round pick, you should seriously considering drafting the Minnesota Twins stud. After him, you have Brian McCann, a consisent .285/25/100 player that you should probably pick up if you fail to get Mauer. Then you step down a bit to Victor Martinez, the last sure-fire thing in the catching universe. You want one of these three. If you’re feeling the Wieters effect, sure take him, but you really want to claim one of these three players.
After them you have (in my ranking order): Miguel Montero, Yadier Molina, Jorge Posada, Russell Martin, Mike Napoli, Ryan Doumit, Bengie Molina, Kurt Suzuki, Chris Iannetta, Geovany Soto and A.J. Pierzynski.
Sleepers/Value Picks: Geovany Soto, Russell Martin, Ryan Doumit.
Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp headline the outfield position, both of them are 5 category studs. He’s never viewed as a very speedy player, but Ryan Braun actually stole 20 bases last season while putting up big numbers elsewhere. However, they are both being drafted in the first round and I don’t think either of them are totally elite. Carl Crawford is being drafted in the first round on some sites, while other sites seem him more as a 5th or 6th round player. The truth lies somewhere in between, as he has 15+ HR power as well as phenomenal speed and solid statistics elsewhere around the board.
Outfield is extremely deep this year, and I’d fill out my entire outfield with later round performers and role players such as Torii Hunter, Jay Bruce, Juan Pierre and Nolan Reimold if I were you.
To demonstrate how deep the position is consider these two stat lines:
PLAYER A: .313, 24 HR, 109 RBI, 14 SB, .909 OPS
PLAYER B: .300, 20 HR, 86 RBI, 21 SB, 883 OPS
The two players are almost even, Player A is Matt Holliday, the 5th or 6th OF option this year, who shouldn’t improve much on those totals, while Player B is Shin-Soo Choo, an underrated Korean import that will go as about the 20th outfielder.
Sleepers/Value Picks: Carlos Lee, Adam Jones, Josh Hamilton, Torii Hunter, Nolan Reimold, Julio Borbon, J.D. Drew (A capable player undrafted in some leagues)
Starting pitching has about 10 solid aces, and then you get into the potential/value options. My ten aces are ranked as follows: Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, Zach Greinke, Felix Hernandez, Dan Haren, Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright, Justin Verlander, Jon Lester. Pitching has so much depth this year that you shouldn’t reach for more than one ace.
Sleepers/Value Picks: Matt Cain, Brett Anderson, Chad Billingsley, Jair Jurrjens, Jered Weaver, Roy Oswalt, Rick Porcello.
Relief pitching is also pretty deep, as a lot of closer positions are already locked down. Possibly only five teams are undecided on who will pitch the 9th in 2010. I, as well as many other fantasy experts, strongly recommend to wait for relief pitching, don’t draft it early.
Rankings: Joe Nathan, Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Broxton, Jonathan Papelbon, Joakim Soria, Francisco Rodriguez, Andrew Bailey, Francisco Cordero, Heath Bell, Huston Street, Jose Valverde, Trevor Hoffman, Brian Wilson, Brian Fuentes, Chad Qualls, Frank Francisco, Billy Wagner, Ryan Franklin, Rafael Soriano, David Aardsma, Carlos Marmol, Bobby Jenks, Leo Nunez, Brandon Lyon.
Sleepers/Value Picks: Brian Fuentes (led majors in saves last year), anyone else after the top 8 or so are taken.